The Value of an Inner Retreat

Buddha StatueI just completed an amazing 2 week retreat and have emerged with a deeper sense of myself and some valuable clarity about my life’s direction.  Where did I go?… India?… Tibet?… to a cabin deep in the woods? None of the above.  I stayed home, and I even worked (some).  It didn’t start out consciously as a retreat, just some precious time to myself while both my beloved boys (husband and stepson) were away. But because of what I chose to do with that time I emerged feeling like I had gone far away to dig into the depths of my soul.  Really I had only done the depth of my soul part.  I didn’t need to dig deep, because it was waiting to open up into the space I gave it.  My authentic rhythms came to the surface and I danced to the feel of my own heart beating in a way that I hadn’t done in a long long time.  My own inner retreat helped me integrate the balance I have been cultivating in my daily life and plant it more deeply and permanently inside my soul.  It wasn’t about escaping but being present from moment to moment… Heart beat to heart beat. .. and allowing it to show me who I am and what is important to bring on the next leg of my journey.

Sometimes it’s necessary to remove yourself from your environment to go inside yourself.  Sometimes your environment is necessary to have around you when you go deep inside.  It can inform you of your bearings and support you while you slip deeper inside yourself.

In the next post I’ll tell you about how to prepare for an inner retreat from the comfort of your own home.

5 Questions to Review Your Month

5 questions to review your monthAs I mentioned in my last post , April was extremely challenging for me on all levels.  It’s a month I’d rather put behind me, but not before taking stock with a full review.  That is what I’ve been doing the last few days, and it occurred to me that you may benefit from this process.  At the end of each month I like to do an overall review of what has happened to know where to focus in the coming month.  I compare the month’s activities and accomplishments to my key words that I’m using to guide my life in the year.

 If you’re not familiar with the concept of keywords, they’re one word intentions that you can use for reference when you are formulating goals and taking actions.  They keep you on track when you’re manifesting your desires.  They’re like themes, or in the most recent exercise I shared on Taking Stock, they can even be like movie titles that you make up to guide your life. There are many ways to come up with keywords for your life.  Start with focusing on the feeling of your intentions to help you bring them up.

So getting back to Reviewing the month.  Here are some questions you can ask yourself to mine the gold from your efforts over the past 4 weeks and to begin to set your intentions for the next 4 weeks.  As always, have a pencil and paper handy.  Find a quiet place and take some deep breaths to quiet your mind and center yourself before starting.  Use this quick video to help you.

  1. What are the high points of your month?
  2. What are the low points of your month? (Keep these responses to 1 or 2 words, to avoid getting caught in a negative story)
  3. What have you learned from your experiences this month?
  4. What skill(s) did you gain from what you learned?
  5. How do you want to live next month? (Your response to this question can be your guiding keyword or phrase)

I’ll spare you the details of my review, but will share my key phrases:

Live in the Moment – Love in the Moment – Let Go of the Past

How about you?  Leave me a comment about your month in review.

Stress Relief Breathing


Get re-centered and re-balanced again with this quick video on breathing.

Like it and share it with others.

Hey there it’s Sandy Freschi with a quick tips to help you get re-centered and rebalanced. If you find that your day is stressful or that you’re having stressful moments in your day and you’re in the middle of a lot of chaos here’s something that you can do very quickly to get yourself back to center and re-grounded. Just breathe. I know it seems like a no-brainer right that we breathe all the time, but you would be surprised at how many times during your day when you get a little speed bump of stress or a little tension or something where you’re really focused, that you stop breathing, you hold your breath or you just don’t  take deep breaths. And this is the time when you can stop and interject a few deep breaths which will help you get back into balance. Now when I talk about getting back into balance I mean that when you breed you’re going to be able to think more clearly, the more relax, and go from a place of flow. Because when your body is relaxed and your mind is re-oxygenated you have all of your awareness at your fingertips.

So let’s try it really quickly right now. Go I had in close your eyes or if you want to continue watching me you can. But for focus sake, if you have issues with focusing, go ahead and close your eyes. And just put one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest, because I want you to experience getting the oxygen in your body so that you’re taking a really deep breath. And when you breathe you’re going to inhale from the bottom up. So inhale, and when you inhale from the bottom up you’ll feel your belly stretch out, and your chest lift.

So inhale stretching your belly, lifting your chest, and when you exhale just let it all go…

Okay and try that again, inhaling stretching out your belly, lifting your chest, and then exhaling letting it all go…

And feel all the tension drain on your exhales. And feel the new fresh oxygen circulating throughout your body. Let’s try that a couple more times.

Inhale from the bottom up, and then exhale from the top down… There you go.

And one more time.

Big deep inhale, and exhale… Sigh.

Now let your arms drop and feel the difference in your body. Do you feel more relaxed, more at ease, more clearheaded? If you’re still feeling kind of hyped up you can do this a few more times or as many times as you want. Then when you’re done with the deep breathing just focus again on taking normal relaxed breaths.… Okay.

So see how quickly that can happen? If you think to do it at times when you at that tension point where you need to take a break, you can take a quick break and it will bring you back to your balance every single time.

So share this with anybody you know who needs to take a breath. And remember to do it’s as many times during your day as you can. And let me know the difference that it makes in your life. Until the next time, keep breathing, stay relaxed, stay focused and be centered.